|Peter was born in Melbourne on
28 July, 1949. He started out in the music business when he was just a youngster.
By the age of 9 he was already appearing on a television talent show called
Swallow's Juniors. At 14 he was performing in Sunday afternoon pop
shows at Melbourne's Festival Hall and by 16 he'd scored a solo record deal
with Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label (whose roster included Normie Rowe) and
Peter became a regular on Melbourne’s THE GO!! SHOW.
Peter as he looked in the early ‘70s
[Photo courtesy of the Lyn Paul website]
In May 1968, with his solo career fading, Peter peroxided his hair and joined the Walker Brothers-styled vocal trio The Virgil Brothers. The other members were both formerly part of the original incarnation of The Wild Cherries – singer/guitarists Rob Lovett (The Loved Ones) and Malcolm McGee (Python Lee Jackson). The Virgil Brothers released two singles in Australia in 1968, Temptation's 'Bout to Get Me (a Top 5 hit), Here I Am and When You Walk Away. In 1969 McGee left and was replaced by Danny Robinson, vocalist extraordinaire and ex-frontman of the highly regarded “Mark II” version of The Wild Cherries with Lobby Loyde. The trio headed to the UK where they cut their third single with David McKay before Peter also quit and the trio dissolved.
Shortly after the Virgil Bros split in 1970 Peter joined Lyn Paul and Paul Layton in the second lineup of The New Seekers, replacing founding members Sally Graham, Chris Barrington and Laurie Heath. The clean-cut pop harmony group had been put together by former Seekers member Keith Potger who had retreated into the less public role of manager after initially performing with them. Although initially ignored in the UK, they broke through with a string of American hits, beginning with Top 10 cover of Melanie Safka’s What Have They Done To My Song, Ma. More hits followed, including I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (originally written as a soft-drink jingle), Beg, Steal or Borrow (the UK's Eurovision entry in 1972 on which Peter shared the lead vocal with Lyn Paul) and the New Seekers' valiant cover of Pete Townshend's Pinball Wizard / See Me, Feel Me which featured Peter and Marty Kristian on lead vocals.
Peter's songwriting talents were first showcased on the
New Seekers' album Beautiful People, which included Cincinnati.
Subsequent albums up to and including the last one he recorded with them
- The New Seekers Now - all featured at least one of his songs.
New Colours featured three - Boom Town, Move Me Lord
and Lay Me Down; Circles featured two - Holy Rolling
and I'll Be Your Song, and We'd Like to Teach the World to
Sing and Now included one song apiece.
Although the group enjoyed huge international chart success,
The New Seekers themselves apparently saw little of the proceeds. Asked
during a radio interview whether she'd made a fortune with The New Seekers,
Lyn Paul replied:
not, no! ... We started off on a £50 a week salary. And when we had I'd
Like to Teach the World to Sing in the charts we got £100 a week.
And then every so often when we kicked up a bit of a fuss ... we'd get
given, say £1,000, to go and buy clothes.”
Disillusioned, Peter quit the group in 1973 to pursue a
solo career as a singer-songwriter. His cynicism showed through in lyrics
like those of his song Sailor Man, which begins with the
line "They took me for a ride" and ends with a stern warning to
other would-be pop stars:
Stay at your
© Copyright Peter Doyle Music / Heath Levy Music Ltd.
By the time Peter quit The New Seekers, they were being
represented in the US by former Masters Apprentices bassist turned manager
Glenn Wheatley. He became Peter's personal manager and in the formative
days of LRB, around 1975, Peter was in fact offered the job as LRB's lead
vocalist, but he turned it down. One can only imagine how different things
might have been if he had taken up the offer! In 1981 he returned to Australia
where he worked with a band called Standing Room Only. A year later,
in 1982, he received an offer from Steve Holly (formerly the drummer
with Paul McCartney's Wings), asking Peter if he'd like to join
the group Regis. He accepted and went to the United States, where
he worked for the next five years.
|Out thanks to the Lyn Paul website for information
(The Pick Up) / Like I Love You
/ Heigh Ho!
Gonna Do About It? / Do It Zulu Style
Pretender / Everybody Loves A Lover
You Got Baby / Go Away
Good Time / Tweedle Dee
Can't Put That in A Bottle / I'm Not The Boy You're After
Dreams and Toy Balloons / You're My Reason
'Bout to Get Me / I See Her Face
I Am / Shake Me, Wake Me
You Walk Away / Good Love
Hands of Time / And So In Life
On My Mind / We Believe In Lovin'
and That / It's All Over
Peter's First Album
Christie Eliezer - Peter Doyle obituary, immedia Nov.30 - Dec 2 2001
Ian McFarlane – Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (1999)
Noel McGrath – Australian Encyclopedia of Rock (1978)
The Lyn Paul website
Chris Spencer & Zbig Nowara – Who’s Who of Australian